Coming Out of My Shell: A Writer's New Beginning

Photo by Ahmed Sobah on Unsplash

It looks like I’m back at the beginning again, starting from scratch. I’ve now had two publishers close, at least leaving me with the rights to all my books. After my first closed, I held my grieving, pity-party. I didn’t write anything, at least not as Jenna, even though most of my publications are under this pen name. I guess you could say, I gave up. Then Loose Id picked up my Matched by Magic series. It gave me a boost to start the 5th book for that series, Feast for an Incubus, that would be a starting point for a spin-off series I planned on calling Tales from the Keep. I even got my other series polished and ready to see if they’d be interested in re-releasing it. Then I got the word that they were closing their doors.

I’m not going into pity mode this time. I’m doing what many other authors are doing. I’m entering the frightening world of self-publishing.

I say frightening because now I have to come out into the light and do all the promotion myself. I’ve never really done much of this before, mainly because of my own comfort-level, or lack thereof. My alter-ego spends a lot of time around people. Like, all the time. But I’m an introvert. I can fake it, even doing well if I’m in an environment I have control over. But this, the social media aspect, is not that environment.

So, this entire endeavor is a huge challenge for me. I could be lazy when I had a publisher. They would promote it. I'd just pay for a few ads and, voila, my job was done. On to the next story.

Not anymore. Self-publishing means it's all on me. Now, I have to blog. I have to write newsletters. I have to (gasp) reach out and interact with my readers.

Yeah, the secret’s out. You scare the shit out of me. I’m grinning as I write this, but it’s true. I always feel like I rip open a vein when I write a story, any story. I’m putting it all out there for people I’ve never met to read. The process always makes me slightly nauseous. I love getting reviews, but clench every time I read one, because you might not like what I wrote. You might slash my baby. And if you didn’t like it, you have every right to. You don’t have to like it. At least that’s what I tell myself.

It’s just gut-wrenching to open myself up to the criticism sure to come.

Anyway, I’m getting really stream-of-conscious up in here, so let me pull myself back to the point. This is the beginning of socializing the introverted author. I don’t always feel like I have anything to say, but I’m going to anyway. My newsletters will be monthly, and I’m going to add to my blog bi-weekly.

I really do hope to hear from you, so I know I’m not just tossing this into the ether. Let me know what you think or if you have any questions (i.e. something for me to write about next time).

Until next time,

Jenna Castille

Oh, and by the way, look for my first self-published book, the re-release of Spells at Midnight, on June 12th. Also, sign up for my newsletter and receive an exclusive, never before released novella, Matched by Magic 1.5, Eternity with a Chance of Rayne. It's super steamy and definitely only for an 18+ audience. These two are my only M/F romances, as I usually write M/M or ménage .

#writing #eroticromance #paranormaleroticromance

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